Check Your Grace
“Motor oil is the lifeblood of your car.” I heard that in a commercial once, so it must be true. If you doubt the validity of that statement, ask anyone who has ever forgotten the simple but vital step in automotive maintenance called The Oil Change. I won’t name names, but I have a sibling who once unintentionally tested how long her 1996 Chevy Cavalier could go between oil changes (a pretty long time, it turns out!). But at some point, the moving parts no longer have that smooth layer of oil covering them to ease their operation and reduce friction. Once enough friction builds up, the moving parts will fail and eventually the engine will stop working.
Grace functions much the same way in the church. The church has a lot of moving parts. We call them people. As the church operates, with each person serving various functions, occasional friction can build up between people. We’ve all experienced this with others and, if we’re honest, we’ve all been the source of friction ourselves at times! When enough friction builds up between people, the church cannot function as it should. That is where grace comes to the rescue! Grace covers over us, coats us, eases our interaction with others and reduces friction so that we can work together to the glory of God.
As followers of Jesus, we are recipients of the amazing grace of God. We are sinners, totally undeserving of the grace and forgiveness of Holy God. Yet through the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we receive the grace and forgiveness we so desperately need. Remember the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant that Jesus told of in Matthew 18:21-35? Like the servant, we have been forgiven a great debt to the King that we could never repay. We are obligated to extend grace and mercy to others. Paul writes in Ephesians 2:8-9, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” In light of this grace, Paul later writes in Ephesians 4:32, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” We all mess up. We all say or do things we shouldn’t, or fail to do or say things we should. These failures cause friction between us. But if we give grace to others, even if they don’t deserve it, it reduces friction and the church keeps running as it should. So don’t forget to give grace to others. And it wouldn’t hurt to check your oil.
In His grace,